A few years ago I had the strangest encounter, one I will never forget.
After walking a mile to Walmart to get groceries for the week, I stopped by Waffle House to get out of the rain and order a cup of coffee. While I was waiting for the rain to slow down, an older gentleman who looked to be around 70 came in, he had a large white canvas bag on his shoulder. He noticed I was sitting by myself and asked if he too could sit down, as all the other seats were mostly full. I panicked but nodded.
He ordered his food to go. While we waited for his food, he asked me with a huge smile on his face, “Do you want to see my stool sample?” I’m sure he saw the mortified look on my face because his smile got even wider. He asked again, “Do you want to see my stool sample, it’s the weirdest stool sample ever, pretty neat if I say so myself” My eyes were probably HUGE by this time. I didn’t want to be rude so I slowly nodded my head.
He clapped his hands together and loudly said “Oh yay! You’re the first person who agreed to see my stool sample!” Everyone stopped what they were doing. ALL eyes were on us; the old man yelling about his stool sample and the shocked girl, who by this time was probably as red as a beet.
The old man leaned down and opened his bag; he pulled out a small green pill bottle. He proudly showed it to me and said “Look, it’s my stool sample” I didn’t know whether to try to run away or grab the pill bottle. He kept trying to hand it to me, I finally took it. The old man was cracking up with laughter and told me to look closely.
I was a bit reluctant, but I held up the pill bottle to my eye level. To my surprise, there was a tiny wooden stool in the pill bottle. Which made me laugh hysterically with relief. We ended up passing the pill bottle with the “stool sample” around Waffle House to those who wanted to see it. Pretty soon the whole restaurant was laughing.
He asked me my name and I told him, I wish I could remember his name, but unfortunately, I do not. However, I do remember how he shared his kind heart with a stranger. He didn’t know, but I had gotten out of the hospital a month prior due to a psychosis episode. I was very timid and afraid of people.
I felt like everyone knew and was judging me. He didn’t. He saw a lonely girl and offered a moment of his time to spread kindness and laughter. Even though we only met for a brief moment in time, I still remember him.
Before he left, he thanked me for letting him try out his joke and gave me the “stool sample” to keep. He told me, “laughter is the best medicine and that sharing it with others is a lasting blessing. Life is too short to dwell on the bad, so make some good.” He left with a wink and a smile.